Teacher's Resources

Bride and Groom's Shoes

England - Bride

Ivory coloured satin flat shoes with ribbon applique, upper of ecru silk and bands of decorative ribbon applied transversally across front part and longitudinally along quarters.

These silk flats belonged to Queen Victoria of Great Britain, and are just like the ones she wore at her wedding.

White silk shoes with ribbon appliqué
English, 1840
Worn by Queen Victoria
BSM P85.363

England - Groom

Black leather dress pumps with low vamp and quarter cut, straps at centre throat held in position by rectangular white metal buckle engraved with flowers and leaf swirls.

Prince Albert married Queen Victoria in black leather pumps with a large buckle like these.

Pair of mens pumps
English, c. 1840s
BSM P87.54

Korea - Bride

Red silk-covered women's shoes (woon-hye) with round upturned toe, slighted pointed on vamp.

A Korean bride was said to be empress for the day, so her clothes were made of fabrics fit for royalty. Her shoes, called woon-hye would be covered with fancy red silk.

Red silk covered woon-hye
Korea, c. 1880
BSM P81.363

Korea - Groom

Men's black velvet boots (mok-hw) with leather piping. Vegetable tanned leather sole, straights.

The Korean grooms boots, or mok-hwa, are made of fancy black velvet material to help him look important on his wedding day.

Black velvet mok-hwa
Korea, c. 1880
BSM S82.144

Czech Republic (Moravia) Bride

Pair of leather accordion-pleated boots with coloured stitching. Rounded toe, stacked leather Cuban heel, painted black on outside.

In the Czech Republic, the brides parents give her a gold coin to slip into her boots on her wedding day. This shows they hope she will have all the money she needs in her marriage.

Womens boots with embroidery and accordion pleats
Slovacko region, Czech Republic, 1999
BSM P99.82

Czech Republic (Moravia) - Groom

Pair of Czechoslovakian man's folk boots with purple tassels.

The long purple tassels and embroidered hearts on these grooms boots from the Czech Republic make them extra special for his wedding day.

Mens tasseled boots
Dolni Bojanovice, Czech Republic
BSM P99.7

Macedonia Bride

One-piece leather shoes.

In Macedonia, the groom provides a new pair of shoes, or opintsi, for his bride.

Leather opintsi
Macedonia, 20th century
Collection of James and Dena Nicoloff

Macedonia - Groom

A pair of traditional opintsi, one-piece leather shoes originating hundreds of years ago, would have complemented the decorative socks.

The brown leather opintsi with straps on the top were worn by the Macedonian groom. They are very similar to his bride’s shoes.

Brown leather opintsi
Ochrid, Macedonia, late 20th century
Collection of James and Dena Nicoloff

Morocco – Bride

Thick rawhide sole, well worn, slightly asymmetrical with serrated layers of leather in sole seam creating a decorative stepped effect of trimmed leather welts.

This type of embroidered leather boots is traditionally worn by brides in Morocco who live in an area with lots of mountains.

Ida ou Nadif embroidered boots
Anti Atlas Mountain area, Morocco, c. 1930
BSM P94.85

Morocco - Groom

Natural flat leather sole with symmetrical last and pointe toe is stitched to the yellow camel skin upper.

These bright yellow babouche are typical of the babouche worn to weddings in Morocco.

Morocco, mid 20th century
BSM S81.24

Japan - Bride

A pair of painted white leather women's zori featuring polychrome cranes and clouds.

These painted leather zori from Japan are decorated with cranes, which wish the bride a long life.

Painted leather zori
Okokayama-ken, Japan, c.1930s
Collection of the Textile Museum of Canada

Japan - Groom

Rectangular woven straw sandals with rounded corners. Natural coloured deer skin tabis with single strap fastening around ankle.

In Japan, the groom wore simple zori sandals with white socks called tabis. The socks are split at the toe so they fit through the thong of the zori.

Zori and tabi
Japan, c. 1980
BSM P87.3, P87.80

India - Bride

Pair of wooden toe knob sandals (paduka). Round toe, silver covered wooden platform supports at toe and heel.

This pair of metal covered paduka from India has small bells that cheerfully announce the arrival of the bride.

Gujarat, India
BSM P79.568

India – Groom

Gold metallic salma sitara embroidered shoes. Pointed, upturned toes, curled back over the vamp.

In India, the groom takes off his shoes before going in to the tent where the wedding takes place. The inside of these khussa is embroidered with real gold thread. When he removes his shoes, everyone will be very impressed.

Gold embroidered khussa
New Delhi, India, c. 1950
BSM S98.30